Fannin County rancher gets rebate for wrangling fees - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Fannin County rancher gets rebate for wrangling fees

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Fannin County Commissioners plan to register all cattle to help locate owners. (KTEN) Fannin County Commissioners plan to register all cattle to help locate owners. (KTEN)
Fannin County Commissioners plan to register all cattle to help locate owners. (KTEN) Fannin County Commissioners plan to register all cattle to help locate owners. (KTEN)

BONHAM, Texas -- In an executive session Tuesday, Fannin County Commissioners agreed to pay back a local rancher for wrangling fees.

"$2,600 is a lot of money, and some people can't afford it," said Stacy Rauchwerger, who owns the cattle that deputies had to round up.

Commissioners said the sheriff's office violated the county's estray and perilous animal procedure by failing to give Raucherwerger enough time to claim her cattle after they wandered into a neighbor's yard.

"In this case, the court felt like the cattle were probably picked up a little bit sooner, and their wasn't enough notification as there could have been," Fannin County Judge Randy Moore said. 

Sheriff Mark Johnson maintained that his department wasn't able to identify the owner of the cattle. He said they followed the state's agriculture code, which says, in part:

"...if the owner of the estray is unknown or perceived to be a threat to the public, the sheriff or sheriff's designee may immediately proceed with the impoundment."

But Rauchwerger believes her cattle did not violate state law.

"It's actually agricultural law that the animals on private property that pose no threat to the public need to be... can be kept on the property for up to five days before the wrangler is called," she said.

Now county officials are calling for additional action so they can help clarify this issue in the future.

"I think we need to make a list of people in different precincts that could possibly help in the way of providing information, just so we don't have another issue come up," Judge Moore said.

Fannin County Commissioners plan to have all cattle in the county registered so the sheriff's office can locate their owners.

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